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Valhalla Strengthening Student Writing With New Initiative

Members of The Valhalla Writing Project Committee.
Members of The Valhalla Writing Project Committee. Photo Credit: Valhalla School District

VALHALLA, N.Y. -- As the Common Core Learning Standards expect students to perform more writing, the Valhalla School District has adopted a new K-8 writing process to encourage better writers.

In the past, children didn’t have much choice regarding their writing subjects – it largely was based on what the teacher asked of them. However, now they have options in all classes and content areas. The new process also encourages students to constantly edit and review their work. “I hope that the students become stronger writers and always continue writing,” said Virginia Road Elementary School Principal Ada Jimenez-Parker. “I hope this bolsters their writing in many subject areas.” The writing process strives to have students work, live and learn as writers. Writing is now used to initiate discussion, reinforce content and ask questions. Writing can help students discover new information and sort through previously learned knowledge, draw connections, and uncover new ideas as they write. In the pre-writing phase, students collect ideas, brainstorm using thinking maps and tell their story with a partner. In the drafting phase, students create a flash draft and write their story. In the revision phase, they reread, re-see, re-think and refine, also conferring with their teachers and peers. In the editing phase, they clarify issues, proofread their work and correct mistakes. In the publishing phase, students conclude their final draft, celebrate and put it in their portfolio. The writing process has several goals for the children.

  • Students will write for multiple purposes (narrative, expository/informative, argument/opinion…)
  • Students will recognize, critique and model quality writing.
  • Students will connect reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and thinking.
  • Students will use writing as a tool for learning ideas, concepts and strengthening understanding.
  • Students will use a process to generate text including pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.
  • Students will use feedback and self-assessment to improve their writing.
  • Students will develop quality writing using meaning/purpose, organization, language, development, usage/style and conventions.

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